Dread standing there
with your crown of glory.
Sign of your faith — your hair.
Beautiful and black.
like' a lion's mane.
Your roar is your beliefs
spoken for those who wish
to hear, and understand.
The history of black men
shining in your eyes.
The regimented plan,
there for all who wish to learn.
Your locks a sign of
righteousness, pride, joy
in being black, beautiful and strong.
Racial minority addressed by media silence
Only broken by parade of stereotypes
Across page or screen.
Why do we hear voices echoing in shade
Of background vision
Until spotlight falls on silhouette
Swaying to dem dry bones
Or caught in riot tearing up paving stones?
Old myths remade by selection
New ones laid
Creation not reflection of reality.
FOR THE PRISONERS
What squats its vast bulk
at the end of my mind's
dominating my thinking like a
legendary bastion. Bastille,
like a basilica upthrust on the
Horn where ages intersect
staring with basilisk-power to
turn my brain to stone
is knowledge of you, thousands,
(The Fort, Rooi Hel, Pollsmoor, the Island)
and the wound of knowledge
knowledge of my powerlessness.
The Missionary is a man
To view with some suspicion,
He spends his lite in foreign lands
He comes (he saysl, to free the Blacks,
To love and educate them.
But once inside their humble shacks,
Does nothing but berate them.
You must not worship deities:
He castigates the chief,
But practice White Man's pieties
For spiritual relief.
Young lambs must not be sacrificed,
Shamen must be despised,
To save you from sin, Jesus Christ
Was scorned and ostracised.
Out go old customs and taboos
Like juju and rain dances,
The churches fill their empty pews
And lo: the trible advances.
Repent, repent your wicked ways,
If you don't: this fanatic says,
You'll surely go to Hell.
Such is the Mission man's tirade
Against his hapless brother,
But all he does is trade
One superstition for another.
THE ART OF WORK
Work is like running in a very long race
Starting at a gentle pace
Work too hard and you will find
You'll never pass the finish line._
Concentrate right at the start
It's a very simple art
Time each piece of work you do
Apply yourself, you'll see it through.
Without training, watch and see
You will tire quite easily
Apart from not passing the long white tape
Open-mouthed your tongue will gape.
Another thing that you should do
You rule work, don't let it rule you!
Heed or there will ba bigger gap
You might not finish the very first lap!
Exploitation will also lurk
When you find a place to work
Just like training when you begin
The experienced campaigner will always win.
Nothing I'm afraid, you can do there
You have to absorb and grin and bear
But time will tell and when you learn
The tide will eventually begin to turn.
Starting right at the bottom of the scale
You can't possibly begin to fail
Train real hard and you will see
You'll eventually climb that beautiful tree.